Winter Retreat

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Winter time is the ideal season for us to go inward; the weather keeps us at home on our days off, it gets darker quicker, and friends may be away for the holidays. And although it may logically be obvious for us to retreat and reflect, diving into our shadows is not an easy or comfortable job.

In Greek mythology Persephone was the Queen of the Underworld and Goddess of Spring, wife of Hades, sentenced to spend every Winter beneath the Earth. This myth can signify as a metaphor for our own inner dwellings of darkness. It is the symbol of retreating within ourselves, completely alone, to face whatever has been holding us back or bringing us down that year. It is the time to face the bad and the ugly; confronting our fears, healing trauma and releasing stories that keep us from being our best selves, so that we may return like Persephone, filled with love, light and immense growth.

During this season take some time to yourself to answer the questions below, making sure to truly reflect and dig deep. I have added some of my answers to get yourself thinking.

1.       How are you giving your power away?

·         blaming others for my “lack.”

·         Letting small things that don’t matter ruin my mood; impatience, loss of control, uncontrollable circumstances or another person’s behavior

·         Jumping on the complaining and negativity bandwagon in social settings just to fit in and feel accepted.

·         Allowing the story and fear that my relationship will never work out just because my parents were unhappy; closing me off to living and embracing love, and appreciating all that my relationship and partner has to offer.

·         The story and fear that I will never be financially free or I can only do something if the finances are there in that moment which makes me neglect the reasons why I am here in the first place and my purpose to help others heal, regardless of money.

2. How often do you say yes when you mean no?

·         Mostly in work situations; taking on more than my body, mind and soul is healthily able to.

·         Trying to schedule too much in when I really want to be alone.

3. In what ways are you playing small?

·         My posture indicates my fear in life and closes me off to opportunities.

·         Brushing off compliments about myself or my creative gifts.

·         Comparing myself to others for not being where they are.

Now if you like, try to come up with at least one action step for each of your answers on how you can begin to change or let go of these ideas or behaviors. For example, an action step for my second answer in Question 3 could be that I humbly accept with gratitude and reflect that by sending love back and complimenting them in return. Not only will I be owning my uniqueness but I will also feel great as a result of spreading love to people around me.

Once you are finished with your action steps, create a beautiful poster with the mantra:

No thing and no one have the power to take me away from who I came here to be!” - Cynthia James.

Repeat this and notice how empowering it makes you feel.

Next, reflect on the past year. You can divide it into seasons or think of it as a whole. Do what makes sense to you.

4. What are you releasing in 2018?

·         Fear of love or being unloved when owning my power.

·         The story that money determines the quality of my life or the amount of healing I can help others with.

5. What are you grateful for in 2018?

·         The immense growth that came from separation.

·         Finding hope and faith in a higher power.

·         Taking leaps of faith.

6. What are your intentions for 2019?

·         Take more risks.

·         Open myself up fully to opportunities and life in general.

·         Put myself out there to make more in person connections and friendships.

·         Embrace and live in love as much as possible, especially in my relationships.

·         Create more, volunteer more, heal more.

 

Here in MD, Winter is damp, cloudy, cold and heavy. In Ayurveda it is the season of Kapha which can really unbalance this dosha. While we are in this season it is extremely important not to become completely lazy, let yourself go and turn into a big sloth. We need to make sure that we are still allowing the flow of energy in our bodies and in our life in general so as not to fall into a rut or seasonal depression.

Some of the tips to keep yourself at optimal health and happiness include:

·         Home cooking hot and healthy comfort foods like curries or sipping bone broth.

·         Doing something fun, creative or productive when you are destined to be indoors.

·         Making sure to move your body; dancing, yoga, running, hiking, snowboarding or any other activity that brings you joy.

·         Moving the lymphatic system; daily dry brushing and oil massage, going to the sauna.

·         Spending time near water; water is the element associated with winter. It brings us healing and balance when we take time to be near it and accept its sacred and healing capabilities. Visit a bath house, turn your hot shower or bath into a spa sanctuary ritual, visit the beach during the off season and bask in the stillness of the ocean. My love and I really enjoy driving a couple hours to our favorite beach in the off season or going up to the mountains to visit the Roman Bath House and take home some free mineral water.

Freedom is a choice. Our perspectives are a choice. Choose to embrace the beautiful gift of winter and allow it to be the transformational period that it is.

Thank you for reading this post, be sure to leave any of your favorite winter time activities in the comments below. Stay cozy!

 

Love always,

Mabes

 

 

 

Stuck in the mud

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Regardless of whether you are in a relationship, a work or creative rut, the feeling sucks. Just the way your mind, body and soul feels all clogged up is enough to send you screaming through the streets! The reality is that ruts happen to all of us from time to time, but only we have the power to light the fire under our asses that will release ourselves from our low and congested feelings of suckiness.

Create an inventory of your life.

Make a note of your relationships, careers, physical, mental and emotional health, what you ingest (food, thoughts, energies, products), spirituality, play and joy and rate them on a scale of 1-10. By creating an inventory, you're able to take a step back so you can get a dose of reality paired with the perspective you need in order to know which areas of your life need improvement. Once you've done this you can begin to make moves!

Master your mind.

I believe that when you work on creating an amazing inner world that the external will have no choice but to follow in suit. Taking the initiative to reboot the inner workings of your mind is one of the most beneficial ways to jump start your engine so you can drive away from your rut at full speed. By no means is this an easy task. It requires self awareness, dedication, self discipline and holding yourself accountable around the clock. It involves going deep within yourself to unearth your hidden and deeply rooted beliefs about who you are and what you are capable of and making the shift to replace any negative and self sabotaging ones with bad ass ones. Doing so will allow you to see where your impulsive behaviors and patterns stem from so you can heal it at the root and plant something beautiful in its place.

Live in the present moment.

Release your depressive thoughts about the past and anxious thoughts about the fear of the future. All we have is this moment that we are in right now. We cannot time travel back and forth- we can only make peace with our past and dream and make plans for the future. This is something you can practice now, but let it be known that spending too much time in either will only make you miss all the opportunities that are right in front of you. Being in a rut stinks, no doubt about it, but reminding yourself to accept and face what is happening and living in the moment is what will allow you to break through versus whining and mopping about what you should've, could've and would've done or trying to skip over it all with escape mechanisms.

Create a workbook for your self development.

It's one thing to read and listen to empowering people, but actually applying it to your life is what will make the difference. Treat yourself (or make) an awesome journal so you can take notes, write down the passages that jump out at you, answer any questions you see in the book and create a dialogue with your thoughts and inner self about what you are reading. Then, by reviewing these you can come up with examples of how to implement what you've learned into your life. As a bonus, you'll now have this information as a future reference if another unsolicited rut comes knocking on your door. Byeeee!

Keep a joy and gratitude journal.

I'm sure you've heard the cliche quote; something along the lines of "what makes you think you deserve more if you can't appreciate what you already have." While the terms joy and gratitude may be overused by everyone and their great grandma, they have a valid point. The only way you will feel content with your present situation is by practicing gratitude and having appreciation for all that you have accomplished, the lessons you've been taught by your master obstacles and, the people in your life. All you have to do is write down 3 things you are grateful for each morning when you wake up and before you go to bed. It can be anything; today was sunny, I was able to purchase gas, someone treated me to a coffee etc. The point is to get your mind to focus on what is going right in your life instead of what is going "wrong." This activity will also help you to feel the blessings to come when you look back and see how the obstacles that once pained you are now your greatest gifts. You can also make a list of when you felt joyful throughout the day, or things that make you feel that way. The more you put this into practice, the more you will literally feel the gratitude and loving energy eminating from within. Not to mention, your abundance will get a kick in the rear as you are opening your heart up to receive more. No matter what happens in the middle, you will be starting and ending your day on a good note. "Not every day is good, but there is good in every day."

Change your surroundings

Interpret this as you wish. It can be that you donate half of your unworn wardrobe that doesn't make you feel like a bad ass Goddess/God, you can rearrange your living space, take a new route to work for the sake of the beautiful scenery, go on a vacation, or do your work at a new cafe instead of at home where it often leads to couch surfing and binge watching TV. By making even the smallest shift in your environment you are creating a ripple effect of necessary and effective change that will get you feeling juicy again.

Keep these tips in your mental toolbox so you can take action in the future and nip a rut in the butt before it spirals out of control. Please leave any other ideas in the comments below! I wish you a happy rebooting!

Love always,

Mabes